ORLANDO, Fla. — A Jamaican man was sentenced to three years, six months in federal prison Thursday for conspiracy to obtain fraudulent Florida driver licenses, false claim to U.S. citizenship and aggravated identity theft. This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, which includes the Florida Highway Patrol and State Department's Diplomatic Security Service, along with assistance provided by the Osceola County Tax Collector's Office.
Richard Anthony Davis, 43, of Jamaica, was also ordered to forfeit $2,926, which is traceable to proceeds of the offenses. Davis pleaded guilty to these offenses April 30.
"Fraudulent documents threaten the security of all citizens by making it easier for criminals to commit a range of offenses from identity theft to potential terrorism," said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. "HSI is committed to stopping this threat that undermines our nation's security."
According to court documents, Davis conspired with a customer service representative at the Osceola County Tax Collector's Office to issue Florida driver licenses and identification cards to more than 280 people based upon fraudulent and fraudulently-obtained U.S. Virgin Islands identity documents. Those documents included genuine birth certificates, social security cards, and fraudulent U.S. Virgin Islands identifications or driver licenses, with corresponding photographs. The customer service representative, Walter Brown, previously pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Davis escorted his customers to the Osceola Tax Collector's Office on days prearranged with Brown. Some of his customers were illegal aliens, previously deported aliens, convicted felons and others with unknown status. The customers would go directly to Brown's window with the supporting documentation that Davis gave them for their license application. Brown would then issue the customers Florida driver's licenses and identification cards. Davis charged his customers $7,500 each and paid Brown between $300 and $700 per Florida driver's license or identification card.
The Osceola County Tax Collector's Office reported Brown to law enforcement after internal controls revealed suspicious activity involving his issuance of Florida State driver licenses and identification cards. The Tax Collector's Office cooperated fully in the investigation and Brown was terminated from his employment.
Davis is a citizen and national of Jamaica. He last legally entered the United States in 1991, but overstayed his legal residence and never departed the United States. Beginning in 2000, Davis falsely represented himself to be a U.S. citizen under five different names.